Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson 'was drinking' before Prince Andrew offer

The Duchess of York told chat show queen Oprah Winfrey she had been drinking before she offered access to her ex-husband for cash.

A clip from the interview, to be aired today, shows Sarah Ferguson claiming she was "in the gutter" when she was caught out by an undercover reporter.

Secretly filmed News of the World footage appears to show the duchess, 50, offering a reporter access to the Duke of York in return for £500,000.

In the footage released to People magazine, she tells Winfrey: "I haven't faced the devil in the face because I was in the gutter at that moment.

"So I'm aware of the fact that I've been drinking, you know, that I was not in my right place."

She also claims she is yet to see the full video of her meeting with the reporter.

Buckingham Palace said Andrew "categorically" denied having any knowledge of the meeting between his ex-wife and the reporter.

On Saturday, the duchess flew back from the US for a reunion with her daughters and Andrew.

The former royal has chosen to speak publicly in the States, not Britain, as the country probably holds more importance for her than the UK.

The Queen's former daughter-in-law has thrived in the US where she has been able to establish a range of business interests before her recent money worries.

The people of America have welcomed the duchess and making an apology to millions of them on television marked the start of rebuilding her reputation.

A source said: "She feels so much has been written she would like to have the chance to say sorry and explain - she's not going to be making excuses.

"It's no surprise she's doing something in America. It's no doubt where she will be returning to when she rebuilds her life."

Andrew and Sarah have remained good friends despite divorcing and share a home, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

It is not known whether the duchess will seek to move to the US or remain in the UK where her two daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, are both university students.

Winfrey's show is hugely popular and she has sat opposite a string of high-profile names such as Tom Cruise and Naomi Campbell.

Back in Britain, the duchess is expected to have face-to-face talks with the duke, according to a source.